Declawing a Abyssinian is an intense operation known as onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, that removes the claw of each finger (from the first knuckle out) of the Abyssinian’s paws. There’s a remote possibility of death in the operation, and a declawed Abyssinian might have a slight risk of infection and permanent pain in his paws. This procedure is not suitable for a mature Abyssinian and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some places (see below).
People generally get Abyssinians declawed to impede them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious Abyssinians are declawed. In America, some landlords demand that tenants’ Abyssinians be declawed.
Veterinarians are typically critical of the surgery and some refuse to do it because the lack of claws in a Abyssinian:
- Deprives it of its main self defense abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Inhibits its stretching and exercise habits, which leads to muscle atrophy;
- Hinders its ability to balance on narrow surfaces such as railings and fence tops, which can lead to injury from falls;
- Can cause insecurity and as a result a tendency to bite.
The operation is not common outside of North America. In the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Switzerland, declawing a Abyssinian is illegal per the laws forbidding cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is prohibited under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a doctor deems such non-curative procedures beneficial either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the Abyssinian. In the UK, animal shelters find it difficult to place imported Abyssinians that have been declawed and as a result most are euthanized.
An alternative to declawing a Abyssinian is the application of blunt, vinyl claw caps that are applied to the claws with harmless glue, sometimes requiring changing when the Abyssinian sheds its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Yet, the Abyssinian will still have difficulties since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Abyssinians.
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